Peering behind the Madrid band's potent new album...

Hinds started running a long time ago and they’ve never really stopped. Forming as a duo, then a full band line up, the Madrid garage rock wrecking crew had already toured Europe several times over before they managed to squeeze out debut album ‘Leave Me Alone’ in the opening days of 2016.

It was a fraught process, as the band are quick to point out. It’s little wonder, then, that new record ‘I Don’t Run’ feels more assured, more confident… more fun, even. Out now, it’s eleven tracks of garage punk bedlam delivered with some wonderfully Spanish flavouring, but it’s also a darker, more rounded record than their raucous debut.

“I think the good thing with both records is that I have the same feeling of being happy with it, and I think both of them represent what we are,” Ana Perrote is quick to point out. “Back in the day, our debut really represented what Hinds are, and this new one represents what we are now.”

“But this one… I’m definitely prouder. I’m not sure how to say it. It’s definitely something that we’re really, really excited to put out, and I feel like… bands usually play for a couple of years after their debut, but we did the opposite – we’ve been touring since the beginning.”

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It’s this breathless ascent that marks the band. Prolonged hours on the road, show after sweat-dripping show, learning their craft in the hardest way possible while remaining true to the core, the essence of what makes Hinds such a thrillingly unique experience.

“We have this thing of you don’t actually finish a record, you just let it go,” she tells Clash. “There’s so many changes, so many things you can do, that you’re always creating, and always thinking ‘should this be ours?’ So we’re totally perfectionist in our own imperfections. We’re totally, all the time obsessed with it.”

In a way, ‘I Don’t Run’ manages to be musically confident, while lyrically introverted. “The process of writing it wasn’t that different,” Ana muses. “But still, it was more like something where we figure out what we like and don’t like, and we do that each time a little faster. If we jam and have 100 ideas then we know the ideas that we like, and the ideas that we don’t. On the debut, it was slower.”

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You don’t actually finish a record, you just let it go...

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“Whereas now, because of listening to so many bands and playing so much we have a clear idea of what we want to be and how we do it. On the first album, it was difficult to explain the way we felt about music, to the producer and to everyone. It takes a lot of work and knowledge. But we definitely feel more secure with this record, 100%.”

The band’s lung-filling confidence, though, sits apart from the lyrical content. ‘I Don’t Run’ is a darker record than their debut, with a marked shift in tone on song such as ‘Echoing My Name’ or the drowsy ‘I Feel Cold But I Feel More’. “I think you wouldn’t really know it from the instruments… but I think in the lyrics you would,” she explains. “On the first one, we’re talking about good things surrounding love, and in this one it’s bad things about love. It’s definitely darker, and all the songs sound stronger in general.”

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The lyrics emphasise the closeness between each member. “We talk all the time,” Ana continues. “We talk about our own experiences, we talk about love. And it’s cool because when you’re writing about something that concrete I see it as an evolution of ourselves as people because it relies on our experiences, and everything that happens to us. So it was really cool to go back to the first record, and re-visit what I thought about people, or whatever.”

Each album represents a moment in time, it seems, with Hinds escaping to remote area in the south of Spain to work on their new record. With them was producer Gordon Raphael – known for his work with The Strokes, amongst many others – who seemingly got in touch with the band right at the beginning of their story.

“(Gordon) sent us a message a long, long time ago – probably three years ago – when we had our first song out, and we had about 500 likes on Facebook. He reached out and said: hey, I’m a big fan of your music, I just wanted to let you know! And we were like: what the fuck?!”

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If he likes our demos then he really likes true Hinds!

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“When we started thinking about a producer for this record we really wanted to work with someone who was more professional than people we’ve worked with in the past, but we didn’t want to feel like we were bringing in someone that we didn’t know, or who would totally take over our sound and change it.”

She says: “We get really… not scared, but we wanted to make sure that Hinds would sound like Hinds. And we thought of him… because he’s done so much great work that we love. If he likes our demos then he really likes true Hinds!”

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‘I Don’t Run’ certainly sounds like true Hinds. Recorded in a 14 day blast, it’s the sound of the band escaping the outside world and delving into themselves. “It was really, really long days,” she recalls. “We totally lost track of everything. When you’re on tour or something you know where you’re at but especially in that studio, in the south of Spain… and it’s not even part of the town, it’s outside, so we really didn’t see anything or anyone.”

“You really, really go crazy. You lose it. Two weeks is so long when you’re so focussed and working all the time. But it was nice not to be distracted. The first one was the opposite – we recorded it in five days but there was so much tension… there’s money, there’s time, you know you’re not going to have that opportunity again so it can be really stressful.”

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It was really, really long days...

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What emerged, though, is a remarkably defiantly, wholly independent document. Hinds only cede control to people they trust, and – whenever possible – they stick to that DIY attitude which is making Madrid such an exciting city to create music in. “We always work with people who we know already,” she insists. “We want to make everyone happy but we still want to be Hinds.”

“It’s cool because it looks like we have a huge team but in the end we do everything ourselves. We still choose our cover pictures, we still take care of the art, we still do our posters. At the end, we feel like no one does it as well as we do. No one understands Hinds as much as we do.”

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I think now we know who we are, what we want, and how to do it...

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‘I Don’t Run’ is a new chapter, a fresh start; sure, it’s unequivocally Hinds, but it’s also different, a step into the unknown taken with the utmost confidence. “I think now we know who we are, what we want, and how to do it,” Ana asserts. “Before we were totally thrown into the swimming pool without knowing how to swim. And now we’ve had our first time off, we’ve had some time to actually write, so everything feels more secure.”

“This is our ID, our presentation card to the world. This is Hinds, and I’m sure this is Hinds.”

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'I Don't Run' is out now.

Photography: Holly Whitaker

For tickets to the latest Hinds shows click HERE.

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